10.11.2017Higher taxes planned for new diesel buyers
Buyers of new diesel cars look set to be hit by higher taxes as the government aims to push drivers to cleaner vehicles. Reports in the Financial Times state that Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond will announce the measures in the Budget later this month.
With sales of diesel models already dropping sharply - down almost 15% October 2017 to date and falling - the increased taxation is expected to push even greater numbers of buyers to petrol, hybrid, or plug-in vehicles.
Additional income from higher taxation levels are expected to help fund the government's Clean Air Strategy, which includes the implementation of a number of clean air zones in cities across the UK. London has already introduced the T-Charge zone - which will expand into the Ultra Low Emission Zone within the next few years - with a brief to reduce the number of higher polluting cars on the capital's streets.
Increasing penalties may be a little redundant in anything longer than the short term future, since the UK car market's confidence in diesel looks to have been significantly damaged by uncertainty brought about from air pollution issues, and the likes of the VW diesel scandal.
Sales of alternatively fuelled cars have been taking a gradually increasing share of sales, in part benefiting from the decline of diesel registrations. The UK has also stated that it will ban the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars from 2040, though again, the shift in the market is expected to make that target far less significant that it seems now.